Mortgage Insurance

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Mortgage Insurance'

An insurance policy that protects a mortgage lender or title holder in the event that the borrower defaults on payments, dies, or is otherwise unable to meet the contractual obligations of the mortgage. Mortgage insurance can refer to private mortgage insurance (PMI), mortgage life insurance, or mortgage title insurance. What these have in common is an obligation to make the lender or property holder whole in the event of specific cases of loss.

Private mortgage insurance may be called "lender's mortgage insurance" (LMI) if the premium on a PMI policy is paid by the lender and not the borrower. This is typically done in exchange for a higher rate or fee structure on the mortgage itself.

BREAKING DOWN 'Mortgage Insurance'

Mortgage insurance may come with a typical pay-as-you-go" premium payment, or may be capitalized into a lump sum payment at the time the mortgage is originated. For homeowners who are required to have PMI because of the 80% loan-to-value ratio rule, they can request that the insurance policy be canceled once 20% of the principal balance has been paid off.

Mortgage life insurance can be either declining-term (the payout drops as the mortgage balance drops) or level in its payout, although the latter costs more.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Private Mortgage Insurance - PMI

    A policy provided by private mortgage insurers to protect lenders ...
  2. Forced Place Insurance

    The insurance that a lien holder places on a property, to provide ...
  3. Price-to-Rent Ratio

    A mathematical calculation utilized in the Trulia Rent Vs. Buy ...
  4. Constructive Total Loss

    A constructive total loss is an insurance term where the cost ...
  5. Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund

    A fund that insures mortgages made by the Federal Housing Administration ...
  6. Loan-To-Value Ratio - LTV Ratio

    A lending risk assessment ratio that financial institutions and ...
Related Articles
  1. Insurance

    Insurance Tips For Homeowners

    Use these simple ideas to save money and get better coverage for your house.
  2. Insurance

    15 Insurance Policies You Don't Need

    Learn how to save money by saying "no" to unnecessary coverage.
  3. Home & Auto

    6 Reasons To Avoid Private Mortgage Insurance

    This costly coverage protects your mortgage lender - not you.
  4. Credit & Loans

    Understanding The Mortgage Payment Structure

    We explain the calculation and payment process as well as the amortization schedule of home loans.
  5. Credit & Loans

    5 Signs a Reverse Mortgage Is a Bad Idea

    Here are the key situations when you should probably pass on this type of home loan.
  6. Credit & Loans

    5 Signs a Reverse Mortgage Is a Good Idea

    If these five criteria describe your situation, a reverse mortgage might be a good idea for you.
  7. Credit & Loans

    Guidelines for FHA Reverse Mortgages

    FHA guidelines protect borrowers from major mistakes, prevent lenders from taking advantage of borrowers and encourage lenders to offer reverse mortgages.
  8. Insurance

    Who is a Beneficiary?

    A beneficiary is a person or entity that receives funds, assets, property or other benefits from a trust, will, or life insurance policy.
  9. Home & Auto

    The Pros and Cons of Owner Financing

    Details on the upside and risks of this type of deal for both the owner and the buyer.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: SPDR S&P Insurance

    Learn about the SPDR S&P Insurance exchange-traded fund, which follows the S&P Insurance Select Industry Index by investing in equities of U.S. insurers.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What factors should I consider when shopping for the best mortgage lender?

    Mortgage lenders offer a variety of loan products tailored to specific borrower needs and qualifications. Lenders calculate ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What happens if my insurance claim falls below the deductible level?

    Though the ins and outs of health insurance are often confusing, the concept of the insurance deductible is relatively straightforward. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How is the deductible I paid for my insurance claim treated for tax purposes?

    The deductible you pay on your health insurance policy may be tax-deductible if you meet certain conditions. However, whether ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are the main factors that impact share prices in the insurance sector?

    The main factors that impact share prices in the insurance sector are interest rates, earnings and actuarial risk. In the ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why do insurance policies have deductibles?

    Insurance policies have deductibles for behavioral and financial reasons. Moral Hazards Deductibles mitigate the behavioral ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Which emerging markets are seeing the strongest growth in the insurance sector?

    The emerging market economies seeing the strongest growth for the insurance sector are primarily the main emerging market ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Financial Crisis

    A situation in which the value of financial institutions or assets drops rapidly. A financial crisis is often associated ...
  2. Election Period

    The period of time during which an investor who owns an extendable or retractable bond must indicate to the issuer whether ...
  3. Shanghai Stock Exchange

    The largest stock exchange in mainland China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange is a nonprofit organization run by the China Securities ...
  4. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, followed by the continuation of the downtrend. A dead cat bounce ...
  5. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment ...
  6. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!